Saturday, September 6

Finally a taster.

Back in 2011 we obtained a kiwi berry plant - Issai - from Victoriana Nursery Gardens and since then it has tried its best to provide us with a harvest but each year something has happened to thwart its efforts. At least twice it has been attacked by red spider mite and then, when I was ready prepared with red spider mite defences, the weather didn't co-operate and the fruit didn't fully mature.
We also found out that we hadn't been severe enough in pruning the plant and so secateurs were wielded and this was put right.

Issai flowers are self fertile and so unlike the kiwi planted on the plot it doesn't need to form a relationship with another plant in order to produce fruit.
Pollination has usually been fairly successful. This year as usual the fruitlets formed and I was keeping watch for red spider mite.
Then fate, as she usually does, threw us another curved ball when the gales blew the plant over.
We thought that was it but amazingly although the support frame had broken the plant remained undamaged and the fruitlets continued to swell.
Now we were faced with a new problem - how would we know when to pick the fruits? The first 'berries' that I picked were hard and very sour to the taste. We tried one and left the other to one side and after a while I noticed that the discarded fruit had softened so I tasted it and this was more like it, a distinct kiwi taste albeit just a tiny mouthful.

Feeling more encouraged I gave the berries on the plant a gentle squeeze and found that some had softened on the plant so I picked a couple to taste.




These too were tasty morsels so it seems that the fruit can be picked unripe and left to soften - like you would a pear - or they can be left to ripen on the plant.
I'm hoping that next year, now we know about pruning, that the plant may decide to produce a bumper crop as the small fruits go sown just a bit too quickly.

PS Don't forget you have until midnight to enter my blog birthday giveaway.

Copyright: Original post from Our Plot at Green Lane Allotments http://glallotments.blogspot.co.uk/ author S Garrett

28 comments:

  1. We are looking forward to our first Kiwi maybe next year when our Kiwi will be 4 years old. When my daughter planted ours she said it wouldn't fruit for 3 - 4 years ! It flowered this year so fingers crossed for 2015. Take care. Marion x

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    1. What type of kiwi is your Marion

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  2. This just proves that even for experienced gardeners like you and Martyn, there is always something new to discover! Your patience is rewarded.

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    1. Always - and long may it continue Mark. We enjoy learning new things.

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  3. Growing new stuff keeps us on our toes ... all that problem solving I think! Looks like you have cracked it Sue so enjoy !

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    1. Not quite Jane. According to what I have read the fruits should be plum sized whereas ours are more like grapes.

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  4. How exciting. It's great to grow, and taste, something new.

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  5. It seems like Actinidia that I grow in my garden Sue. I pick fruits when they are soft or when I see some of them fell down. Sometimes I do as you - pick fruits and lay them in warm dark place (in kitchen) and soon berries are soft and juicy. I like their taste.

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    1. How big do your fruits grow Nadezda?

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  6. Very useful information Sue. I used to grow Actinidia kolomikta which was beautiful. I have not yet tried one that produces edible fruits.

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    1. This is Actinidia arguta 'Issai' , David. Actinidia deliciosa is the one that grows the felty fruits.

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  7. Interesting to see these Sue, I've not seen a kiwi plant at all before. Do you eat the skin? I'm guessing it's not too tough on there, not like the hairy ones from the supermarket.

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    1. This type has a smooth skin and you do eat it CJ.

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  8. How exciting Sue! I'm waiting with bated breath to harvest my first ever pears - all three of them.

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    1. We inly had three pears on the plot, Anna, But the neglected old Conference in the garden produces more,

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  9. Very interesting and good to see these difference kiwi fruits form other place.

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    1. We also have the felty large kiwi Normala but ours on the plot hasn't produced fruit in spite of being planted for years, The male just won;t flower.

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  10. I have never seen this plant before. It looks so interesting. How does about the taste?

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    1. Have you had the usual kiwi as these ones taste the same. Difficult to explain - anyone help? Sweet, refreshing, juicy.

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  11. That is interesting about the pruning, I bought one this year and it hasn't any fruit, I'm hoping for some next year.xxx

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    1. Apparently you prune it like a grapevine, Snowbird and watch for red spider mite

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  12. I've never really thought about growing kiwi. I wonder if they are hardy here.

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  13. These ones are a miniature smooth skinned variety Daphne.

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  14. I'm delighted to hear that you finally got to try some kiwi fruit from that poor plant Sue! Here's hoping for an excellent crop next year.

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    1. Pity we don;t get the normal sized ones from the plant on the plot, Janet.

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